The 2008-09 basketball schedule promises to be historic for the ACC with UNC and Tyler Hansbrough chasing Duke for both team and individual honors in the record books.
UNC, who will almost certainly open the season ranked No. 1 in the country, has all the parts — five returning starters and three new McDonald's All-Americans — to match Duke's perfect 19-0 ACC season from 1998-99.
Psycho T trails J.J. Redick by 601 points on the ACC's career scoring list.
Speaking of history, Sidney Lowe’s third season at N.C. State includes two games at Reynolds Coliseum.
And how will Mike Krzyzewski hold up on his day job?
Monday, Nov. 10
• Delaware @ Duke
No more Kobe or LeBron for Coach K. Just Kyle and Gerald to tip off the season against the Blue Hens.
Saturday, Nov. 15
• N.C. State @ New Orleans
The Wolfpack hasn’t opened the season on an opponent’s court since 1990-91. The Privateers won the first Monte Towe Reunion Game in Raleigh last season.
• Penn @ UNC and Florida State @ Jacksonville
What do these four schools have in common? A Final Four appearance in the 1970s. What? You forgot about Otto Petty and the ’72 Seminoles?
Tuesday, Nov. 18
• Kentucky @ UNC
The Cats don’t like Duke and they really don’t like UNC but they haven’t been able to do much about it, losing three straight in the series.
Friday, Nov. 21
• UNC @ UC Santa Barbara
Will this “Santa” be naughty or nice for the Heels, who lost to Santa Clara in their pre-Maui stop in 2004-05.
Sunday, Nov. 23
• Montana @ Duke
Mike Lewis’ homecoming game, comes about 40 years too late for the former Blue Devils star from Missoula.
Wednesday, Nov. 26
• UNC in Maui Invitational
The championship game of the Maui Invitational could pit the Heels against Notre Dame or Ol’ Roy’s ol’ Big 12 compadre, Rick Barnes and Texas.
Tuesday, Dec. 2
• Ohio State @ Miami
Miami wins! Wait, there’s a penalty flag in the end zone ... sorry wrong sport.
•Duke @ Purdue
The Boilermakers could start the season in the top 10, testing the Blue Devils’ perfect record in the Big Ten Challenge.
Wednesday, Dec. 3
• UNC vs. Michigan State @ Ford Field
Isn’t there another game, or three, scheduled for Detroit’s Ford Field in April? Very clever, Tar Heels.
Saturday, Dec. 6
• N.C. State vs. Davidson @ Charlotte
Stephen Curry gets his first of two shots at an ACC team. Davidson and Curry are 0-5 vs. ACC opponents.
Saturday, Dec. 13
• Winston-Salem State @ N.C. State
One of two regular-season games at Reynolds Coliseum is one of three ACC trips for the Rams.
Wednesday, Dec. 10
• Bryant @ Boston College
That’s Bryant, with a “T,” from Smithfield, R.I., in its first season of Division I basketball and proud alma mater of Tupperware magnate, Earl Silas Tupper.
Wednesday, Dec. 17
• ECU @ N.C. State
Neither the Wolfpack, nor its fans, liked the trip to Greenville last season. The Pack tries to get its win back from the Pirates in Raleigh.
Sunday, Dec. 21
• Clemson @ Miami
The ACC season, and race for No. 2, begins.
Saturday, Jan. 3
• N.C. State @ Florida
The 2006 and 2007 national champs welcome Sidney Lowe to Gainesville. Norm Sloan would have been proud.
Wednesday, Jan. 7
• Harvard @ Boston College and Davidson @ Duke
No SAT scores under 1,400 allowed, at least not in the student sections.
Sunday, Jan. 11
• UNC @ Wake Forest
The only trip standing between UNC and 19-0? The talented Deacs’ only crack at the Heels.
Tuesday, Jan. 20
• N.C. State @ Duke
The only meeting of the season for this half of the Big Four. State hasn’t beaten Coach K at Cameron since the 1987-88 season.
Wednesday, Jan. 21
• Clemson @ UNC
Fifty-three years and counting ...
Sunday, Jan. 25
• Virginia Tech @ Miami
These “football” schools could displace the “basketball” schools for No. 2.
Saturday, Jan. 31
• UNC @ N.C. State
The red jacket returns. Can Sidney Lowe, and his lucky coat, improve to 2-1 against Roy Williams in Raleigh?
Tuesday, Feb. 3
• Maryland @ UNC
The Terps won at the Smith Center last season. And then forgot about the rest of the season.
Sunday, Feb. 8
• N.C. State @ Virginia Tech
If there’s one thing N.C. State can do, it’s beat the Hokies — 6-1 since expansion.
Wednesday, Feb. 11
• UNC @ Duke
Psycho T goes for the rare Cameron sweep.
Sunday, Feb. 15
• UNC @ Miami
Another potential road block on the Heels’ path to conference perfection.
Wednesday, Feb. 18
• N.C. State @ UNC
Javier Gonzalez still has nightmares about last year’s trip, a 31-point Wolfpack loss.
Sunday, Feb. 22
• Wake Forest @ Duke
Deacs beat Duke last February, then slept-walk through the end of the season.
Wednesday, Feb. 25
• Duke @ Maryland
Even as Maryland basketball becomes increasingly meaningless, this game still means everything to the always congenial Comcast faithful.
Saturday, Feb. 28
• Georgia Tech @ UNC
See ya, J.J. If Hansbrough (2,168 points) averages 22 points per game, he’ll pass Duke’s Redick (2,769 points) as the ACC’s all-time leading scorer at the Smith Center against Yellow Jackets.
Sunday, March 8
• Duke @ UNC
The Blue Devils, 1998-99, are the only team in ACC history to go 16-0. Will they have company?